The analytical engine, an important step in the history of computers, was the design of a mechanical general-purpose computer by the British mathematician Charles Babbage. It was first described in 1837, with Babbage continuing to work on the design until his death in 1871. Several prototypes were built, but the definitive analytical engine was first built in 1864.
With the help of his engineer Joseph Clement, Lady Ada Byron, and the influence of the Industrial Radical Party, the analytical engine first saw practical use in 1865 with the Queen’s government filing administrative papers. The engine was soon duplicated and eventually a network of several engines were built to process the bulk of the administrative and day-to-day necessities of legal issues for Her Majesty’s governing of the United Kingdom.